Resume Absolutes for Recent Accounting GradsMGR Accounting Recruiters in
Preparing a resume when you are a recent graduate is different that preparing one as an experienced professional. The set of ‘best practices’ differs when you don’t have much experience in the field. The following tips are geared towards specifically helping recent college graduates prepare that ever-so-important piece of paper:
Avoid empty phrases. Although you truly are a “hard-working, goal-oriented team player”, those descriptors don’t carry much weight unless you back them up with examples. It’s rare than anyone says they are “lazy, lack direction, and can’t work with people”. Empty phrases take up valuable space.
Work History – 2 sections. If you are like many recent graduates, you likely have some experience that is related to your chosen career as well as some non-related experience. Consider dividing your experience into two sections – “Accounting Work Experience” and “Other Experience”. By listing the accounting experience on top, the reader will focus on that first!
Focus on career-related experience. You also have likely worked less in your chosen field than outside your field up to this point. You will want to provide more details on your career-related work than your non-related employment. By providing more details in these areas, it causes the reader to focus more attention on that experience.
Plans for certification. If you plan to pursue a certification then list that intent on your resume, but only if you are serious. Be prepared to discuss how you will achieve the certification. If the employer is looking for someone to grow with the company, this will likely make a difference.
Listing of classes. Listing the courses you took in order to get your degree isn’t necessary unless they specifically fit the job for which you are applying. Listing your tax classes on your resume doesn’t help when applying for a cost analyst position, just as listing your cost accounting course doesn’t apply to tax positions. Plus, it takes up valuable real estate on your resume that could be devoted to relevant material. Listing courses is fine, but only do it if it helps your case.
Email addresses. Use a professional sounding email address. Nicknames may be cute, but the hiring manager or HR department may not possess the same sense of humor.
GPA. Simple… if over a 3.0, it’s OK to list it on the resume. If not, it doesn’t help.
1 page is plenty. Unless you have substantial experience in the field you are targeting, your resume should only be one page. If you find that difficult then you are likely listing too much detail, possibly in non-related work history or in the organizations / awards sections.
Friends let friends proofread… their resume. Don’t just proofread your resume yourself – it’s difficult to be unbiased. Let a friend read it in order to make sure it makes sense to them and doesn’t contain any errors that you may have overlooked.
Need feedback on your resume? Give us a call. We would be happy to help.
I wish you the best in your search.
Mark Goldman CPA